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Senseless School Violence

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Thursday's suicidal rampage at Northern Illinois University marks the fifth shooting in the last week at a U.S. school. It is now believed that the 27-year-old assailant, Stephen Kazmierczak, described by campus police as an "outstanding" [and former] student at NIU, had stopped taking medication prior to the shooting. Incidents of violence in California, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Ohio, where a 5th grade teacher was stabbed and shot in her classroom by her husband, left a number of victims dead or in critical condition.

What suggestions do you have for curtailing school violence? What steps should schools take to protect themselves against potential assailants, particularly when there are no clear warning signs? As a teacher, how safe do you feel?

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I am a public school art teacher. I have, over my career, been given a slight shove, had students “accidentally” bump into me, had to deal with students fighting each other, got hit in the face with a book, had crayons and color pencils thrown at me, been threatened with violence, and heard through the news and first hand of teachers being seriously injured. In my book My First Year In Purgatory (ISBN 978-1-4303-1198-0, paperback, 219 pp.) I deal largely with the relentless unchecked insults and bullying that many teachers and students face on a daily basis. We face these challenges often without any support from administrators. You can read reviews, preview and pick up a copy of my book at Lulu.com or myfirstyearinpurgatory.org Direct link is http://www.lulu.com/content/630141 Information email [email protected]

I'm a public school teacher, and I believe that one reason schools are such popular targets for shootings is because they are known "gun-free" zones. What better way to insure that your potential victims do not end your rampage prematurely by retaliating in kind?

At the college level, at least, students and instructors should be allowed to carry concealed weapons; www.concealedcampus.org details the arguments for this method.

At the lower levels of education, I would argue that, teachers should be allowed to carry concealed weapons as well.

Not mandatory carry, nor illegal carry. Just allow those who have state-issued concealed carry licenses to actually carry at the school. http://www.carryconcealed.net/ tells how and where to get your own CCL or CHL.

I am not claiming this to be the perfect cure; I do believe that many of the tragedies that rack up double-digit body counts could have been ended much earlier had a "victim" been armed.

Of course, that is on the extreme end of school violence. Day-to-day stuff requires vigilance and solid relationships between students, parents, and school staff. Failure on any of their parts leads to trouble.

Apologies for any spelling or grammatical errors.

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